Follow TV Tropes


Benevolent Alien Invasion

Go To

I make instant oatmeal and we turn on the TV. All the channels show the same images: tickheads at the new White House, at the U.N., everywhere. All the messages are the same: the war is over, and they're sorry for the damage we did to ourselves. The tickheads — they call themselves something full of clicking noises — are sorry for the violence with which humanity responded to their visit, and sorry that they failed to anticipate the reaction. They promise to work with the Galactic Whole to repair the damage, and they're sorry for the delays.
"I'm sorry too," I say, trying to make a joke, but Trey doesn't laugh.
Disarm, by Vylar Kaftan

Aren't things just super since the aliens invaded? We really can't complain. They brought us Translator Microbes so there are no more misunderstandings, showed us how to recycle our own waste products into food through matter-energy conversion, and they pee gasoline.

The aliens have arrived and they actually are benevolent (most of the time, or at least toward humanity), and humanity is all the better for their having been invaded.

A subversion of Alien Invasion and Aliens Are Bastards, one that naturally lends itself to a Double Subversion. Often, the "invaders" are a Superior Species. This is often the hallmark of a Hegemonic Empire. Compare Vichy Earth, when the aliens only believe the invasion is benevolent. If Humans Need Aliens, these tend to be the kind of aliens they need. See also What the Romans Have Done for Us.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Blue Drop deconstructs this trope to the point of being horrific. Basically, the Arume are a race of lesbian aliens that invaded and conquered our Earth at some point in the past, and ever since, the Earth has been relatively free of conflicts. Not to mention bringing with them extremely useful nanomachines. But whoo boy, ain't it a Crapsaccharine World at best...
  • Gintama is arguably an example of this trope. The invading aliens, after a period of bloody war that it's generally agreed humanity lost, mellowed out and managed to push the technology of the entire world forward a few centuries: Japan around the 19th century now has machines, skyscrapers, and Shonen Jump manga, which the ex-samurai protagonist loves to read.
  • The basic premise of DearS is that aliens land on Earth with entirely benevolent reasons. True to form, they are very nice and kind to their hosts, happy to do whatever is asked of them. Truth is, they are a race who were genetically designed to be slaves, and NOT being given orders leads them to eventually freak out in uncontrollable violence. Of course, this is still all perfectly positive to the HUMANS. To them, it's just, "WHOOHOO! Free hot slave girls!"
  • A subversion of this is the central premise of Cannon God Exaxxion, where for years the aliens posed as this but it was simply an act to get us dependent on them and allow them ease for conquering us.
  • UFO Princess Valkyrie apparently had aliens land in modern-day Earth at some point. Fortunately for us, they were apparently from The Federation, and all the aliens apparently wanted to do was take vacations here and visit our tourist traps. Most of the plots involve some of the loopy princesses who can't be bothered to take a spaceship piloting course causing minor (or major) crises because of their own personal fecklessness, while the general alien populace just sort of accepted Earth into the fold without batting an eye.
  • Subverted in Kill la Kill. Life Fibers are hostile alien parasites that feed on the humans that wear them, but they are the main reason humans evolved into an intelligent race, and wearing a Life Fiber outfit gives the wearer incredible powers, though in high concentrations they may also turn the wearer hostile. Overall, while there are a few drawbacks, it's still a pretty good deal. However, the Fibers intend to destroy all life on Earth to spread themselves through space to reach further planets, making their endgame about as far from benevolent as can be.
  • The aftermath of the Frieza Saga in Dragon Ball Z is one, from a certain point of view. All of the Namekian race (sans a tribe that was murdered by Vegeta) have been brought to Earth by Dende as a last-minute wish to save them and their Dragon Balls from Frieza. In terms of strength and abilities, the Namekians are naturally hundreds of times stronger than humans arenote , and the King Piccolo Saga of the original series shows that they are more than capable of doing the same thing to Earth... IF they wanted to. Thankfully because Namekians are peaceful by nature, they instead choose to live with Bulma at Capsule Corp, learning about Earth's culture and activities, in exchange for allowing the Z Fighters to use their Dragon Balls to wish their friends back to life.

    Comic Books 
  • The elves, trolls and preservers in ElfQuest (originally sufficiently advanced aliens and their servants) don't invade the World of Two Moons/Abode deliberately, but it's implied that tens of thousands of years after their arrival their influence has had subtle but highly beneficial effects on the planet's human society (carefully-controlled population, environmental management, acceptance of alternate beliefs and sexual orientations, female equality…)
  • Paperinik New Adventures examples:
    • In Urk's Alternate Universe, America was invaded by the local counterpart of the Evronians in the far past: the invaders gave the local humans advanced technology with little impact on the environment, united them in three nations and then left... Forgetting to deal with the Vikings overrunning Europe on the other side of the Atlantic.
    • Colonel Neopard raids Earth because the Grandduchy of Grilk has built a base in the Sahara and their enemy, not wanting to involve the planet in the conflict, hired him to destroy it. Once his job was done he left, without even being noticed by the governments of Earth.
    • Played with Moldrock and his Horde: any planet they conquered was given Corona's advanced technology, the protection of the mightiest army in the known universe and the Physical God at its lead, and a strict but fair rule, and Moldrock relied enough on local elites that when the Coronans themselves took him down they were able to let them go in prosperity almost immediately, but the conquest happened because Moldrock wanted a good fight, with the benefits happening only because there's no reason to do otherwise.
  • Subverted in Blue Beetle. The Reach present themselves as this, but they're actually alien conquerors engaging in a very long-term invasion plan: dumping mind control drugs in the water supply so that humanity will just hand them Earth in a couple of decades. And we aren't the first planet they've tried this on.
  • The Skrulls in Ultimate Fantastic Four shared technological secrets with the human race, gave Reed the means for everybody to achieve superpowers, and wanted to enlighten the human race to join them in the stars. Subverted, it was all a charade.
  • Superman: Red Son is an Alternate Continuity where Superman landed in Russia instead of America. He decides to take over Russia and later most of the world in order to solve problems like poverty and unemployment. He eventually stops when Lex Luthor convinces him he's impeding on peoples' freedom. Ironically, he turns out to be a human from the future in this universe instead of an alien.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Arrival: The Heptapods come to Earth in 12 gigantic spacecraft, but don't seem to be doing much besides letting humans visit sometimes. Their ultimate goal is to teach humanity their universal language so they can achieve world peace and integrate with the galactic community.
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space has aliens invade Earth to save the Universe... and fail.
  • One of the Trope Makers is The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). If you ignore the deathbots and the closing threat, the aliens are decent enough guys. The closing threat is that if humanity doesn't abide by the aliens' rules, the whole world will be destroyed. That's pretty clearly an invasion, even if it is for our own good. In the remake, not so much.
  • A humorous variant from outside of science fiction, the "What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?" segment from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
  • The bizarre men-in-black-alike "Whisper Men" from Knowing were this. They realized Earth was going to be destroyed by a Solar Flare Disaster, so they decided to save the animals and humans of Earth and transport them elsewhere. Of course they were really, really creepy about it and spent most of their time scaring the shit out of everyone, but arguably that's not their fault: they apparently can't talk per se and are rather horrifying to behold.
  • In Stargate: Continuum, Ba'al tries to do this, having traveled back in time and made himself the supreme ruler of the Goa'uld with his future knowledge and technology. He then targets Earth and is nothing but sincere in his desire to let the planet do their own thing for the measly price of acknowledging him as its ruler. He had grown quite fond of Earth culture during his time there and didn't want to ruin it. Unfortunately, he didn't take into account that all the other Goa'uld, his queen included, were both too set in their ways and treacherous enough to usurp him upon hearing this.
  • Arguably, Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the Trope Codifier.
  • The Invasion: Oddly, the film reveals things are better when everyone is controlled by alien parasites. They may have less emotion, but world peace breaks out and America finally passes universal healthcare. After the cure is dispersed, things go back to normal. Near the beginning a Russian diplomat also lampshades it by saying that imagining a world without these evils requires one where people are no longer human. It makes you wonder who to root for. The main character even appears to be uncertain in the last scene.
  • Played with in The World's End: the aliens are Well-Intentioned Extremist who think they're doing humanity a favor seeing how uncultured and self-destructive they are. Basil insists that it's not an invasion but a merger. Gary calls them out when he learns that they strip of humans of their humanity (all of their flaws) and those who don't accept the aliens ideology will be swapped and their body turned to mulch. They "killed" a lot of people which says a lot about how successful they were.
  • Scary Movie 3: The aliens, as it turns out, only invaded Earth because they accidentally saw the Ring-esque tape, and are trying to save themselves by killing the girl.
  • Subverted hard in Rakka; the aliens try to cut down on the amount of resistance to their colonization of Earth by framing it as a benevolent invasion, but they clearly don’t really understand how humans act and think, so their efforts just come off as laughable Blatant Lies. We see them try to get a cell of resistance fighters to surrender by implanting a captured politician with cybernetics and sending him through their turf as a human loudspeaker, with him just mindlessly yelling obvious canned lines like “they have built a conservatory” or “they only want what is best for us”. Even if they were better liars, it still probably wouldn’t work, as even a blind person could see that they’re terraforming the planet (it gets harder to breathe each year because they’re constantly pumping methane into the atmosphere), not to mention the numerous mass graves overflowing with human corpses.
  • The Godzilla Anime Trilogy starts out like this, and gradually goes to shit before its end:
    • Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters - Played straight when the Exif and the Bilusaludo arrive on Earth, each with their own reason to flee to the planet. In return, they offer to use whatever they have at their disposal to destroy Godzilla. They both fail, and wind up joining the humans in fleeing into space instead. However during a private conversation Metphies (Exif) and Mulu-Elu Galu-Gu (Bilusaludo) both suggest that the other's motives might not have been so benign, though it's a moot point now.
    • Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle - First deconstructed with the Bilusaludo, when Galu-gu insist that their race, as well as the humans and exif merge themselves with the nanometal of Mechagodzilla City in order to kill Godzilla, despite doing so would not only end all organic life, but possibly allow Mechagodzilla City to assimilate the planet with itself as well.
    • Godzilla: The Planet Eater - Last deconstructed with the Exif, where they believe that everything in the universe is finite, and that life is pointless. Thus, ending all of life in the universe is considered mercy. They choose to do this by unleashing King Ghidorah on Earth in order to kill Godzilla and the remaining humans.


  • The Church of the SubGenius is a joke religion out of Dallas, Texas that practices the doctrine of getting "slack," and those who accept their figurehead, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, into their minds will be flown off with the aliens from Planet X to their final financial reward after they destroy Earth. The date for this event, "The Rupture," was July 5, 1998. But when the date came and nothing happened, Rev. Ivan Stang (who hosts the radio show The Hour Of Slack) said the date was misread. The "Rupture" date is July 5, 19,998. Other theories include that Dobbs held the note with the date upside-down, and the Rupture will come in the year 8661, or that the date is actually correct but the calendar is flawed and July 5, 1998 has not arrived yet.

  • Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi is about how to get humanity to accept a race of benevolent but disgusting-looking aliens.
  • Played with in George Alec Effinger's story "The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything": The Nuhp really are benevolent. Also endlessly opinionated about Earth culture to the point where humans develop FTL and colonize other worlds to get away from them. And they're not the only beings to have enjoyed the Nuhp's benevolence. Many races are indeed grateful to the Nuhp for the help—and hope they never see them again.
  • Donald R. Benson's novel And Having Writ... involves a group of aliens who accidentally crash-land on Earth in 1908, and spend the next few decades reluctantly influencing the development of human technology to the point where it can build them a new spaceship. At the end of the novel they regret all the changes their tampering has forced on human society, the irony being that the Alternate History they have created is far better than the one which actually happened.
    • They were trying to start World War I early, in a bid to get the — as they saw it — inevitable violence over with quickly and with relatively minimal loss of life. They were considerably surprised when, after carefully explaining this to the leaders who would be involved and asking them to hurry it up, the leaders avoided it instead.
  • Animorphs ultimately ends this way. The Yeerks, the only outright villainous aliens, are driven off the planet, while the Andalites, the Taxxons, and the Hork-Bajir set up a downright peaceful coexistence with us humans. The Andalites even start giving us their advanced technology, a little bit at a time.
  • Neil Gaiman's short story, A Study in Emerald, is set in 1881, London, on an alternate timeline in which all the world leaders are Great Old Ones, risen from R'lyeh and sundry other resting places some centuries previously. Most everybody appreciates this, because when your royalty gain their sustenance by driving people mad, you don't want to be the next meal, but there are a few "Restorationists" who think humanity should be in charge of its own destiny, a pair of whom the Holmes-and-Watson-esque protagonists spend the story hunting. At the very end, the narrator mentions that he heard one of the men they were chasing on that case was named James (or maybe John) Watson, and signs the entry "S____ M____", implying that he is Sebastian Moran, Moriarty's sidekick.
    • Amusingly the Old Ones seem to have gone native, adapting titles and trappings of human society (the most fun title of all: The One Who Presides Over The New World — think about it), rather than imposing their order on us.
  • Older Than Television: The Martians in the novel Auf zwei Planeten ("Two Planets", 1897, incomplete English edition 1971) by the German science-fiction pioneer Kurd Laßwitz (1848-1910), published one year before H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Laßwitz's Martians are not just technologically but morally superior, living according to Kantian tenets. It isn't quite that simple though: the Martians do behave like benevolent colonialists, leading to Earth's inhabitants rising and fighting a war of independence, but it all ends with an Earth-Mars peace treaty.
  • Some religious groups interpret the references to "kingdom of God" or "kingdom of the heavens" or "kingdom that will not be brought to ruin" in The Bible this way. Beings from the heavens recognize that man cannot rule man, so they come to Earth, start a world war that ends up wiping out existing governments and corrupt religious organizations, set up a new government, bring dead people back to life, and help humankind to clean up the earth over the next millennium. Some even see Signs of the End Times in the events of the past century.
  • Two examples in Cat Planet Cuties:
    • Played straight with the Catians, who want to establish a peaceful relationship with Earth, and at the end of episode 12, gives humanity a working space elevator.
    • The Dogisians, on the other hand, try to subvert it by giving some human governments illegal alien technology in an attempt to prevent the Catians from establishing their foothold on Earth.
  • The plot of Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke.
    • Subverted in two different ways: One, the aliens resemble demons (for appropriate reasons). Two, they come to Earth knowing that the next, final generation of human children have begun to evolve into god-like metaphysical beings, which will entail The End of the World as We Know It. The main reason why they take over is to monitor this transformation. Needless to say, they don't reveal their true intentions.
      • According to the Overlords themselves, if they hadn't interfered with humanity, it would have become a destructive hive-mind akin to a cosmic cancer. With their aid the children of humanity can become one with a benign cosmic hive-mind instead.
      • The flip side is that it is beneficial to the universe at large, but not humanity. Because humanity is 'eaten' by the Overmind and only exists as knowledge within the Overmind.
  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): Technically not aliens, but the people of the underground city of Rylleh are definitely weirded out to be conquered and ruled by giant monstrous ants. Nonetheless, falling under the Colony's dominion works out pretty well for them; the ants are hard-working, essentially incorruptible, willing to share the valuable materials that they harvest, and keep their citizens safe from the endless waves of monsters spawning from the Dungeon. They only conquered the place because it was in a strategically important location for their defence.
  • Crest of the Stars. While the Abh are annexing planets, they are generally depicted as positive. They really accept everyone who would come and ask politely the only requirement for the imperial citizenship is basically an application, and to join the nobility the only thing you need is to rise to the officer rank in the Imperial Service. All Lander officers are considered entirely equal to the genetic Abh (and are required to have the genetic Abh children), and the Empire's current Prime Minister is actually a Lander. The author goes out of his way to show how much more awesome and civilized the Abh are than normal humanity. Of course, Abh consider themselves to be humanity, a right that the other superpower in the Galaxy vehemently denies. So it's mostly the choice between the conquering but largely hands-off neo-feudalistic Abh, and ostensibly democratic, but meddling Principles Zealots of the United Mankind.
  • The Cosmopolites, Andrey Lazarchuk and Irina Andronati's supremely weird Space Opera trilogy, plays and subverts this trope twelve ways to Sunday. What with the amount of plots and gambits woven into the story. First, the Earth is clandestinely visited by The Empire, about whom the UFO crowd was largely right, and then they genuinely try to invade us. With the help of the other ostensibly benevolent civilization Earth managed to somewhat successfully chase The Empire off, only to suffer the constant retaliation attacks and harassment as those other aliens turned out to be in it only to exploit the Earth and stick it to their previous Imperial masters, not to really help us they're stooping as low as selling the earthlings the amusement park Flight Simulators as the genuine guidance complexes for the Space Fighters, so the Earth is forced to rely on the Child Soldiers. Then the couple of new inventions allows the Earth to genuinely kick the Empire's ass, the Jerkass "helpers" are given the boot and all seemingly settles into an uneasy peace after the treaty with the Imperials... Only for the old Emperor, who disappeared several millennia ago, to surface again to an immediate facepalm at what his domain has become, and to settle immediately with the Earth to reclaim his old ideas and the realm. Only he might not really be the one who he says (or thinks) he is, and then The Culture parody might have their own designs... Given that Lazarchuk himself has once owned up to getting confused with several of his own plots, you can imagine the level of the Mind Screw that actually happens in the series.
  • Played with in The Course of Empire. The invaders conquering Earth are hardly benevolent but they are no worse to Earthlings then a typical Earth conqueror would be. The planetary governor is something of a Caligula but the prince sent to be his underling admires Earthlings, tries to learn about them, and even from them, and tries to encourage mutual cooperation against a far worse enemy.
  • The Culture, from Iain M. Banks' series of novels, does not generally invade other civilizations, but does spend half its time gallivanting through the cosmos looking for species to help out and improve (if they fall within certain criteria) through the agency of Contact. To an extent, 'helping' other species is the means by which the Culture justifies its own existence.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's The Damned series, the Weave (and the Amplitur, as they perceive themselves) visit worlds populated with intelligent, civilized sentients to warn them of the intergalactic war between the two sides, share technology and invite (or "invite") them to join their side.
  • In Ray Bradbury's short story Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed, a group of humans flee war-torn Earth to colonize a mysteriously terraformed and abandoned Mars. After a while the idyllic climate of the planet changes the way they act and think to such an extent they forget they knew anything else. When a second expedition lands, the Earthlings assume—and aren't corrected—that the colonists are Martians. Effectively, the planet benevolently invades them.
  • The Special Ambassadors in Deathscent by Robin Jarvis... possibly. The human characters clearly perceive them this way, but what their real motives were - to help humanity, study them, or just for fun - is left up to the reader.
  • Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny is more or less an example of this. The aliens are officially benevolent, but there's some behind-the-scenes political weirdness leading to less-than-benevolent behaviour on some of their parts.
  • Played with in Walter Jon Williams' Drake Maijstral books, where the aliens did not really disturb Earth very much bar imposing their own formal culture and ideas of monarchy upon it. Humanity still didn't take this very well and kicked them off-planet before the beginning of the first novel, becoming the first and only race to accomplish this. The protagonist Drake Maijstral is the descendant of those who opposed the revolt, and honestly doesn't much care either way.
  • The backstory of Expedition, a science fiction art book Wayne Barlowe wrote about a joint human-alien expedition to a primitive planet called "Darwin IV." Surprisingly played straight, as the aliens arrived to stop humanity from wiping itself out. Considering the state of the earth by the time they show up, humanity may likely have driven itself extinct without their interference. It's suggested they did it more to save our biosphere (including us) rather than solely to save humanity. The book is heavy-handed with its multiple GreenAesops, so it's understandable.
  • One of the central premises of Julian May's Galactic Milieu series (Intervention, Jack the Bodiless, Diamond Mask, and Magnificat).
    • The aliens don't invade, they intervene, offering us membership in the galactic civilization because Humans Are Special. But Humans Are the Real Monsters, too, and the Metapsychic Rebellion is fought almost entirely between humans over whether humanity will remain part of the Milieu and develop into a psychic Hive Mind, or remain individuals and go their own way - the aliens mostly stay out of it. On the other hand, the Intervention is only benevolent for psychics who get with the program. Nonpsychic humans get a higher standard of living, but have no voice in the Intervention or the Rebellion and are faced with draconian punishments if they're unable to fit in with humanity's psychic elite. And most of the Metapsychic Rebels are forced into Unity - no option B.
    • It also has this trope in reverse since the lead alien from the oldest race that first founded the Galactic Milieu is actually a human who had travelled backwards in time, so humans had benevolently invaded several alien species before they did the same to us.
  • The Danish novel Gartnerne fra Orion is a subversion. Basically, the eponymous Gardeners from Orion are benevolent, and want to save our planet from being choked by pollution and global warming. The problem is that their main priority is the planet, not us. And apparently, the fact that there's way, way too many of us is the problem. Nothing personal, you understand. Just part of a Gardener's work - pruning the weeds. But they're really very polite and pleasant about the whole 'Annihilate 90% of humanity' thing, making sure that family-units are kept intact, and providing the survivors with the tools and knowledge they need to survive without the extended infrastructure of human civilization. Humanity is slightly less polite in their response.
  • A human/human example. In David Drake's The General Series, the protagonist is the top general of an Evil Empire with an Evil Chancellor and Corrupt Church, and he fights to subjugate the independent nations that border the empire. The kicker? Being a subject of the evil empire is far better than being a subject of the "feudal pigsties" he is conquering, as the ruling classes understand that you need to treat your serfs well in order to get full value out of exploiting them.
  • Inverted in Donald Moffitt's The Genesis Quest, where the benevolent aliens, rather than being invaders, find humans (or instructions on how to make them) coming to them, instead. The story still follows the usual pattern though, as even with the Nar doing their best to provide for all human needs, some humans still violently rebel.
  • The short story High Yield Bondage is about some aliens that land on Earth with a broken ship. To repair it, they need to improve Earth's technology to the point where we can make them the parts they need. So, they start "inventing" and selling stuff, creating dummy corporations, and basically end all wars and improve the standard of living to where no one is poor and we are terraforming Mars and colonizing the Solar System. The story ends where they get the parts they need, and contact their boss, who then bitches at them for "ruining" the Noble Savage human culture.
  • Not a perfect example (since both groups were humans) but this is how the the Andermani Empire was founded in Honor Harrington. The planet Kuan Yin was originally settled by a sub-light colony ship but had a major issue producing enough food due to native bacteria that ate chlorophyll. When Gustav Andermani "invaded" the planet he brought along a team of geneticists to take care of this, with the end result that his invasion was treated more as a rescue mission.
    • Arguably Manticore's (another human polity) annexation of Basilisk, they largely leave the native Medusans (who are at an early iron age level) to themselves and only maintain small trade enclaves on their world. They also protect the system from more expansionist powers like Haven. The colonization of Sphinx was also beneficial to the Treecats, even if it was a few centuries before the humans figured out they were sapient, as they were able to colonize other planets when their homeworld was threatened.
  • The body-snatching alien invaders in Stephenie Meyer's The Host (2008) see themselves this way (they cut down on crime, improved healthcare, and generally civilized those violent and barbaric humans! Isn't it great?), but the humans don't exactly agree — however friendly and peaceful the aliens may be, they're still, well, body-snatching invaders.
    • Part of the problem is that the "souls," as they call themselves, never even conceived that their hosts may be unwilling, or that it would be wrong to take away that freedom (many of the other species they have gotten involved in were nonsentient or borderline intelligent, similar to dolphins or apes here on Earth). When the main (soul) character runs into a truly altruistic human, she realizes the aliens were wrong.
    • The aliens are definitely well-intentioned. The only other race that was actually intelligent enough to possibly mind honestly didn't care, and in fact welcomed them. In fact, they were only wrong once before, out of all the other planets they tried.
  • Kate Elliot's Jaran Series involves the vast Chapalii Empire, who simply absorb the Earth and humans into their Empire without effort or aggression. Even though they've received many technological benefits from being ruled by the Chapalii and very little in the way of drawbacks, the humans still rebel.
  • Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler (also known as the Xenogenesis trilogy) plays with the trope. The Oankali discover Earth after a global nuclear war. They pop the survivors in stasis and spend the next centuries repairing the biosphere before reintroducing the humans, with genetic modifications to make them hardier. They do so because they want to absorb human genes by consensually reproducing with them via Bizarre Alien Reproduction. They also believe humanity is hardwired to destroy itself, so to prevent another species-wide suicide they've sterilized all the survivors in such a way that they can only reproduce with Oankali, which means Homo sapiens will one day be absorbed into the Oankali and go extinct. Also, they've reintroduced them at a Stone Age level. Also, they insist they know what humans want better than themselves. Also, once they leave Earth, the process will render bacteria the only surviving life on its surface because they're basically a slow-motion Horde of Alien Locusts. Needless to say, people are ambivalent about the Oankali, and it's treated as a victory when they're ultimately convinced to terraform Mars and allow humans to settle and reproduce there, without Oankali influence, over their objections that humanity will inevitably kill themselves all over again.
  • The Monitors by Keith Laumer has benevolent aliens ruling the Earth, "opposed" by various misfit rebels.
  • Played with in Bruce Coville's My Teacher Is an Alien series. The various alien species are shocked at mankind's violent ways and fear what will happen if we achieve space travel. They come up with four possible solutions. The first is to leave us alone and hope we destroy ourselves. The second is to blow us up for our own good. The third is to erect some kind of barrier (or sabotage our scientific progress) so that we never escape our own solar system. The fourth proposed solution is basically this trope; the aliens will contact us and give us the technology and knowledge we need to end wars, eradicate disease and poverty, etc. However, because we are dangerous sociopaths they will need to take over the planet first to make sure we don't abuse these gifts.
  • The Occupation Saga: Joked about in the first book: the Shil'vati Imperium invaded Earth 20 Minutes into the Future, curbstomped its armies in a few days, and then had the gall to start running the place better than the humans ever had. While they don't tolerate active resistance, among other things the "Purps" have also largely solved global warming and homelessness for us.
  • Oddly Enough: "In Our Own Hands" has the Lyrans appear over Earth and promise one of these, essentially saying that if mankind agree to let them take total control of the world, they'll fix everything that's wrong with the planet — war, poverty, hunger and other problems. Over the next while, mankind proceeds to debate over whether they can actually trust that the Lyrans are really as friendly as they seem or not.
  • Discussed in Out of the Dark, where both the hostile Shongairi and the humans fighting them both realize that a benevolent invasion would have been a lot more effective than the regular Alien Invasion that triggered the violent, stubborn human resistance that is turning the aliens' occupation into a bloody slog.
  • Overlord (2012) could be considered a downplayed and alterdimensional (instead of an extraterrestrial) example. Ainz has stated that his end goal is to create a peaceful utopia, and while he will not hesitate to tread over the bodies of any perceived enemies to make this goal a reality, he is a benevolent dictator at least to those on his side, which is more than can be said for many people in power in the New World. You know things are bad when the otherworldly Lich with no feelings of compassion for humans still comes off as a breath of fresh air compared to the squabbling power-hungry nobles in your own kingdom.
  • This is part of the premise behind Christopher Anvil's series Pandora's Legions - the Centran Empire is an ever expanding network of worlds that first invades, then raises the standards of living of each. They initially manage to invade Earth through sheer numbers and taking advantage of national conflicts, but the occupation ends up being almost impossible to maintain so they never get around to uplifting anyone. To make matters worse when they actually meet humans they realise they're smarter than them. To salvage the situation and try to turn it to their advantage they decide to withdraw and award it full citizenship in exchange for a team of military specialists to help them with other troublesome worlds. Unfortunately, while the team is very effective, the Earth population's ideas about materialism and wastefulness are ''also'' very effective at spreading, and nearly ruin the Empire.
  • Prince Roger has the Empire of Man taking over all habitable worlds in their space. Humanity though, can't help to fill all those worlds so instead the Empire culturally uplifts the worlds. The planet we see it go wonkey on shows how diverse a planet can be and why the Prime Directive might be considered garbage by everyone on the scene. After all, freedom, long life, and protection from cannibals is a good reason to give up your culture.
  • The Quozl, from the book of the same title by Alan Dean Foster, turned out to be quite beneficial to humans (once each species was willing to recognize the other as sentient life forms).
    • Possibly subverted in the ending, in which we discover the Quozl, whose ability to offer violence is bound by very formal doctrine, intend to use humans as warriors to fight in their stead, should the need appear—indeed, they believe they've enslaved us without us being aware of it.
    It is far better to be cute, cuddly, and lovable than to wield a bigger gun or sharper sword. We obey their laws and hew to their restrictions, we leave all major decisions to them — while we advise quietly and deferentially. We do exactly as they command, which is just what we want.
  • In The Serene Invasion, aliens (who are never seen directly) arrive, abolish violence through the use of sufficiently advanced technology (such that anyone who tries to harm another person or themselves immediately goes into spasms), solve such issues as world hunger, make the Earth's governments irrelevant, and begin colonizing Mars. The protagonists wholly support this, but the main antagonist (for both financial and ideological reasons, and also because he needs a dominatrix to hurt him to enjoy sex) believes that humanity should be violent and combative, yet he has no capability to fight back or even to terminate his own life until he allies with much less friendly alien invaders. This is all portrayed as a good thing.
  • Inverted in Speaker for the Dead- Instead of being invaded, the Humans invaded a planet belonging to a race of weird, pig like aliens.
  • While not really an invasion in Robert Charles Wilson's Spin, the Hypotheticals end up encasing Earth into the titular membrane that blocks all EM radiation and slows down time to a crawl inside the bubble. Why? To give them time to add Earth to their Portal Network and let us expand to other worlds before our civilization destroys itself.
  • In This Immortal, after taking in those humans stranded in space after the Three Days, the Vegans basically ended up in control over Earth — and why not? They provide employment, allow humans to live on their planets, are technologically advanced and psychologically disinclined to disorder, as evidenced by their never having experienced or seen the decline of a civilization before encountering humans. They even go so far as to buy the land on Earth on which they want to build vacation resorts.
  • The Time Future duology by Maxine McArthur deals with humanity several centuries after being benevolently invaded by a species known as the Invidi. Earth is now a minor member of The Confederacy of Allied Worlds, which rules fairly peacefully over most of the galaxy. However, a major theme of the books is whether or not humanity is really better off as part of the Confederacy: because only the ruling Four Worlds (which include the Invidi) have access to Faster-Than-Light Travel, the other races are dependent on them for interstellar contact of any kind, and are essentially second-class in galactic society.
  • Subverted in The Tripods. They set themselves up as a benevolent invasion in the minds of many (by hypnotizing them), while really having dark plans for humanity.
  • Tuf Voyaging is a series of short stories where a benevolent "advanced" human travels the galaxy, offering his services to worlds with environmental problems, and sometimes imposing solutions of his own. His clients aren't always pleased by his solutions, but they're generally for the best overall, and his ship's overwhelming power dissuades refusal of payment. At the end of the series his last and most recurring client is forced to call him a god by his increasing ego and willingness to manipulate entire ecosystems.
  • Played with in Pamela Service's young-adult novel Under Alien Stars. The Tsorians are a smug, rather xenophobic, and somewhat brutal Proud Warrior Race who turned the planet into a military outpost, don't really "get" human customs, and think we're funny-looking, to boot. Nonetheless, they turn out to be by far the lesser evil compared to the Hykzoi, and seem to be accepting humanity as a proper ally at the end.
  • In the Venus and Mars self-help books, the inhabitants of Venus spend all their time daydreaming and chatting about strong and handsome princes from far away...and eventually, they get their wish, once the Martians (who had been gawking at them through telescopes for generations) figure out space travel and use it to go see the mysterious, ethereal creatures they had been gawking at. They form relationships, and then the Martians fly to Earth with their new Venusian wives and girlfriends, for reasons never really explained. On Earth, their dynamics change, and their communication styles clash. The solution for modern male-female relationship problems, as posited by the book, is therefore to get back to traditional "natural" roles and relationships.
  • Clifford Simak's The Visitors explores what happens when humans can't communicate with alien visitors. The aliens come from space as giant boxes which land on Earth and start consuming forests. However, they reveal themselves as benevolent when they begin giving birth to their next generation in the form of living cars and living houses.
  • Played with in Worldwar. The invading Race is far from benevolent as a whole — them conquering Earth would result in a state of submission to them — but humans living under more oppressive regimes such as Nazi Germany side with them, because even the Race is shocked by some of the things the Nazis do (while the Race colonize, they don't wipe any native population out).
  • In one of the novels by Janusz Zajdel, the aliens basically treat humans like cattle — that is to say, take good care of their health, keep them from fighting and exploit in moderation.
  • Zones of Thought: Inverted in A Fire Upon the Deep, where humans are the aliens invading the medieval Tines planet and changing its culture to benefit both species. Granted, the invasion wasn't intentional (a cargo ship carrying children in stasis crash-landed on the planet and the humans only expected to stay long enough for rescuers to find them, but things got much more complicated), but by the end of the book, the humans have upset the political balance of a large part of the planet. By the start of the sequel, The Children of the Sky, the sole adult human has become co-ruler of the most powerful nation on the planet, is working to advance the Tines' technology beyond Space Age levels within a century, and the human children are intermingling with the native Tines and creating a social revolution almost unintentionally.

    Live-Action TV 
  • While not an invasion per se, the Tenctonese refugees of Alien Nation are implied to have brought several advanced technologies to Earth when their slave ship crash-landed, which are now being reverse-engineered.
  • Babylon 5 has much fan with this:
    • During the Earth Alliance Civil War, those fighting against President Clark were an alliance of the benevolent aliens of the Interstellar Alliance and human rebels. To make it seem less like an alien invasion of Earth, the final assault on Earth was almost entirely done by all human rebel forces, with rebel outposts and colonies being guarded by their alien allies. The aliens only come in to help when Clark decides to aim the Kill Sats at Earth to assure everyone else goes down with him.
    • After Clark is dealt with, the Interstellar Alliance offers to have Earth join the Alliance, guaranteeing advanced technologies (starting with Artificial Gravity). At the same time their ambassadors make this offer, their warships visibly fly over Earth's capital. At least they kept the promise, immediately giving Earth the knowledge to develop Artificial Gravity and sending a fleet to help defend against the Drakh invasion.
    • About twenty years before the series, this was inverted: Earth Alliance all but invaded the League of Non-Aligned Worlds... to counter the Dilgar, who had already overrun most of the League and were planning to enslave or kill the League races. Once the Dilgar were defeated, Earth Alliance trapped the Dilgar on their homeworld (not knowing their sun was about to go nova, hence their invasion of the League) and went back home, their only gains coming from helping the League rebuild their infrastructure.
    • Earth had previously been forced to do it: after discovering a planet inhabited by a race whose most advanced civilizations were at Bronze Age level, Earth scientists went down to establish contact and study them... unwittingly causing a chain reaction of civilization collapse, at which point the humans all but took over the planet to preserve as much as possible and the government established a law not to interfere with primitives again.
    • The Centauri Republic started doing this, as they had suffered a much less benevolent invasion in the past and saw them taking control of less developed worlds as the best way to protect them... not realizing they had turned into imperialist conquerors.
      • They then pulled it by accident with Earth: upon first contact, they originally planned to take control of Earth by making it dependent on their advanced technologies (a strategy they were pulling successfully on many League worlds before the Narn cornered their market) while also cultivating economic relationships, only for the Earth Alliance government of the time to not adopt those technologies but study them and make their own copies which, while inferior, still kept Earth from relying on the Centauri, and used them to colonize a number of worlds the Centauri had long abandoned. After realizing they had been had, the Centauri made Earth their main trading partner and military ally.
    • The Orieni Empire used to be this, giving their subjects advanced technology, a fair rule, and the ability to gain full citizenship. On the flip side, they would also culturally destroy their subjects, would not take "no" for an answer, and were rumored to kill off all telepaths from the conquered races to keep full control of the Empire (as only telepaths could reach the upper echelons of the government). In the end they started a war with the Centauri which, after both sides devastated numerous worlds, ultimately destroyed the Orieni military, came into Orien's orbit ready to wipe out the planet... and, playing the trope straight, offered peace conditions that would keep the Orieni militarily weak but preserve their independence and way of life.
  • Apparently, this was what Well-Intentioned Extremist Cylons of Battlestar Galactica wanted to do on New Caprica, but it kind of blew up in their face. They thought humans and Cylons could live together "peacefully", but it quickly descends into a tyrannical occupation regime rounding up random civilians for mass executions in reprisal for resistance bombings. Does This Remind You of Anything?
  • Chouseishin Gransazer: It turns out that the Warp Monarch only "invaded" Earth millions of years ago to eradicate the Bosquito, an alien parasite that Earth's advanced human civilization was at war with, and they only resorted to bombarding the planet after it had already overrun Earth and wiped out most of the ancient humans.
  • Doctor Who: "The Unquiet Dead" makes use of the corpse-inhabiting idea. Although in actual fact, the aliens are deceptive and prepared to kill to get more bodies.
  • Earth: Final Conflict counts, though not all the Taelons were equally benevolent. Also a case of a relatively benevolent alien conqueror trying to protect Earth from a far less benevolent would-be conqueror. According to the Jaridians, they'd have no problem with humans if we kicked the Taelons out before they entrenched themselves in human society. They actually sent a warning message to Earth before the Taelon arrival, but the Taelons intercepted and blocked it.
  • Farscape. Played with in one of the alternate realities shown in "Unrealised Reality". John Crichton was born on an Earth that had been taken over by the Scarrans centuries ago, the remaining humans apparently the product of Scarran interbreeding. While the Scarrans are brutal toward species they consider threats, or to be of some value, humans were apparently not much of a threat, so long as the Scarrans kept them confined to Earth. John's father claims that the admixture of Scarran DNA has been beneficial for humans in the long run; in exchange for losing their personal freedom, they are now healthier and enjoy longer lives. John, however, was unhappy because the Scarrans denied humans permission to explore space.
  • In Galactica 1980 this is the goal of Dr. Zee; to get Earth's technology to the point where they can fight off a Cylon invasion.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • The episode "The Second Soul" plays with this trope when non-corporeal aliens are allowed to settle on Earth... and to inhabit the bodies of dead humans. The main conflict is between a character who can't accept the loss of the woman he loved, and the fact that the body's new occupant is in no way her.
    • In another episode, alien music begins to mutate those who listen to it. As those who haven't listened to the music investigate, they learn that the sun is about to undergo a shift, becoming deadly to humanity as it is now. The mutated form will survive. Instead of being the usual Downer Ending twist, they learn this in time to get the word out, and spread the broadcast far and wide enough for everyone on Earth to be able to undergo the change.
  • Subverted by the Aschen in Stargate SG-1. In one timeline they provided humanity with the technology they needed to defeat the Gouald. A few years later, Earth is a paradise. The Aschen even provided miraculous medicines that greatly extend human lifespan with sterility as a side-effect. They are simply waiting for the human population to be reduced to a few thousand to be used as unwitting slave laborers on an Earth they would turn into nothing but a giant farm. With the Aschen's even longer lifespans, they favor The Long Game.
  • In Star Trek, the Vulcans helped humanity get their shit together in the aftermath of World War III after humanity developed warp drive.
    • As seen in the Enterprise series, this didn't go perfectly smoothly. Many humans chafed under the well intentioned clampdowns the Vulcans created. Deep Space Nine had an early, brief allusion to this angle.
    • In Deep Space Nine, Eddington believes The Federation's entire raison d'etre to be this, comparing them to the Borg.
      Eddington: You assimilate people... and they don't even know it.
    • Quark and Odo agree with Eddington, but take the other side. They really do like it better under Federation rule, even if they're still completely bemused about it.
    • Dukat would like to you to know that the Cardassian occupation of Bajor was benevolent. He really, really would.
    • The TNG episode "First Contact" (not to be confused with the Trek movie of the same name) combines this with a Perspective Flip. The benevolent invading aliens are the Enterprise crew, and we see Picard's attempts to establish a peaceful relationship with another species through the eyes of the scientist about to create Warp Drive.
  • Perhaps the most famous subversion in history is The Twilight Zone (1959)'s "To Serve Man" episode, adapted from an earlier short story by Damon Knight. The Kanamit actually manage to end famine and war, but it's eventually revealed the only way they want "to serve man" is on a plate, though that's not much of a spoiler by this point.
  • Both series of V subverts this. The aliens appear to be totally benevolent, and indeed they appear this way to most everyone on Earth. But their intentions turn out not to be.

  • According to Word of God, the final track of Rush's rock opera 2112 represents the return of the culturally enlightened Elder Race of Man, who overthrow the culturally repressive Solar Federation. Good news for humanity, but a bit too late for the protagonist.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: Partway through the Clan Invasion, Clan Ghost Bear realized that if they were to actually move to the Inner Sphere, they should treat it better, so they brought in their garrison Galaxies and Merchant Caste members to serve a double role - freeing up their mainline forces to serve in the invasion proper, while also assisting in public works and infrastructure rebuilding in order to improve their image in the eyes of those conquered. This paid off for them in a big way when they transferred almost all of their Homeworld assets to their Inner Sphere holdings, and were even able to negotiate a peaceful annexation of the remains of the Free Rasalhague Republic into what would then be known as the Rasalhague Dominion.
  • Zigzagged in Bleak World, the Aliens are mostly trying to kill the Venusians over a petty grudge, but they also give protecting the humans as a reason to invade Earth
    • For clarification, the Venusians are a different race of aliens from the PC race aliens and invaded Earth to steal our sense of Hope and Wonder to fight an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Space 1889 Europeans’ own opinion about their presence on Mars, Venus, Africa and Asia.
  • In Termination Shock humanity was facing extinction from a Sol-spanning Robot War when a heavily armed multi-species charitable organization dropped out of hyperspace over Mars and evacuated the survivors.
  • Traveller: The Third Imperium was this. Of course most of the invaders had ancestors that were from Earth anyway.
  • The Tau Empire of Warhammer 40,000 claim to be this, and initially were (though providing a nicer place to live than the Imperium of Man isn't all that hard). This was before the idea that the Tau were just engaging in Realpolitik, and rumors of concentration camps and forced sterilization started circulating.note  Whether the rumors are true or if it's all just Imperial propaganda is in this case irrelevant, since the Tau would still be the most benevolent alien race (or civilisation, period - the Imperium of Man is known as 'the cruellest, most bloody regime imaginable' for a very good reason) to invade in the setting if it's true. And that's saying something...
    • Somewhat applies to the Imperium itself, though only to human worlds. More often than not, they leave the world's government's intact, set up trade routes with other worlds, often provide some level of technological advancement (even if it is just lasguns for the conscript legion), and leave the world's culture mostly intact. The only demands usually made are "pay us in tithes of men and materials, and worship the God-Emperor". This actually makes them a lot closer to The Federation than the Imperium would seem capable of. If you're on a non-human world, however, your options are somewhat limited. It should also be noted that this is primarily because of difficulties in enforcing a galaxy spanning empire, not out of any form of altruism. If they could enforce a cruel dictatorship on every world, they likely would, as can be seen on Holy Terra and its closest neighbors, as well as Fortress Worlds or similar places where the Imperial government does maintain permanent presence. Additionally, the Imperium also has orbital stations protecting Feral or Feudal worlds that have severely regressed due to the Age of Strife, who would be otherwise completely defenseless against various forms of alien invasions (the Imperium in turn leaves them at low tech so that the local wars and struggles against nature produce good Adeptus Astartes or Imperial Guard recruits). Finally, the worship of the God Emperor of Mankind is one of the few reliable ways to resist Chaos influence, so a lost human colony that survived the Men of Iron revolt and the 5000 year long Age of Strife that followed it (during which long distance FTL was impossible) that was essentially forced to join the Imperium really is, in 99% of cases, better off than if they were left to be krumped by Orks, turned into slaves to the Dark Gods of Chaos (at best becoming a heartless, monstrous and cruel Daemon Prince, at worst mutating into Chaos Spawn) or eaten by Tyranids.
    • Dark Eldar are also known for claiming this. In their case it is the most cynical Blatant Lies imaginable. Of all the monstrous races in the galaxy from the parasitic Khrave to the brutish Orks, the Dark Eldar are one of two things (the other being Chaos servants) you REALLY don't want to be taken alive by.

  • Professor Hidgens in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals comes to the conclusion that letting the aliens assimilate humanity is the only way to achieve world peace.

  • Tamagotchi: The Tamagotchi invaded Earth by accident (fleeing their drunk planet and having their UFOs suffer engine problems and crash), but both humans and Tamagotchis ended up benefiting from the incident. The Tamagotchi deliberately returning to Earth later on is a more straight example of this.

    Video Games 
  • The Praetorians in City of Heroes like to present themselves as wanting to change Primal Earth for the better. Whether they actually are is something that is up for debate.
  • You can invoke this in Endless Worlds ARPG by colonizing a world already inhabited by a sentient race that your own happens to get along with. The new "colony" is de facto part of your empire, since the spaceports and other orbital infrastructure are state-owned, but if they let you settle in the first place they're generally happy to start pitching in with this whole space-faring thing.
  • In Half-Life 2 and the Episodes, the interdimensional Combine invaders attempt to play themselves up as this, going so far as to have their spokespuppet call them "Our Benefactors". Enough people buy into it that there is a significant population of collaborators and volunteers for trans-human transformation, though most people you encounter in the game are either actively resisting or resigned to the situation. There's the implication that the Combine once had a better PR campaign, but stopped bothering as soon as Earth was fully pacified, to the point that they don't even put up new propaganda posters anymore. The Vortigaunts, at least, are more than willing to help humanity against their common enemy.
  • Infinite Space faces a massive invasion of the Small Magellanic Cloud by The Empire of Lugovalos. It's a case of Grey-and-Gray Morality, this time. Many of the citizens of the SMC, including one of your former party members, consider the advanced technology and order that they bring to the chaotic galaxy to be a boon, and nobody is unhappy to see the last of the SMC's Space Pirates, but the first things to go under their rule are freedom of navigation and independent space captains, which the Player Character is not going to take lying down.
  • In The Journeyman Project, aliens make contact with humans to say that they'll be showing up in ten years to start diplomatic relations, thus giving humanity plenty of time to get used to the idea. Agent 5 has to stop the one guy who thinks the aliens are bad, though.
  • In Perfect Dark, the Maians planned to do this eventually, but left the humans to develop on their own for a few millennia. The end of the main plot revolves around the Maian ambassadors finally coming down to meet with the authorities in the White House and establish peaceful connections. Then the game plays the evil Alien Invasion straight when the Skedar come rolling along.
  • In the Shadowgrounds series, it turns out that the aliens are invading the colony because an experimental weapon being developed there would end up destroying the solar system if ever used. When their peaceful attempts to warn of the impending disaster were misinterpreted as threatening to destroy mankind, they reluctantly decided that they'd have to wipe out the colony to save humanity in general. This almost backfires, but the misunderstanding is finally cleared up at the last minute.
  • Sigma Star Saga: So blowing a huge hole in the planet is probably not the most benevolent thing an alien could do, but the Krill did it to kill an Eldritch Abomination that was hibernating inside the Earth, and their second invasion was to check on Earth's recovery. The benevolent part is questionable as the Krill paid little attention to the Puny Earthlings, but things would've been much worse if they didn't show up.
  • The Vasari in Sins of a Solar Empire were half this. If your species hadn't mastered space travel, you were peacefully integrated and given a minimal amount of standing as a "valued citizen". If you had mastered space travel, your civilization was violently overthrown and your race enslaved.
  • The Chenjesu from the Star Control games asked humans to join an alliance against the Ur-Quan, and in exchange shared their technological knowledge with us. The Ur-Quan themselves aren't all that bad, either; while they do prevent the species they conquered from leaving their home planet, and destroy most major cities and military installations, they evacuate said places first and make sure the species can still survive, building new cities or even finding a new planet if the old one is no longer habitable.
    • In Star Control 2 it's revealed the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za believe themselves to be benevolent dictators who are protecting the galaxy from far worse forces mainly their opposite faction the Ur-Quan Kohr-ah, who believe all other life should be killed rather than simply enslaved.
  • In Stellaris, it's possible to do this to primitive civilizations, depending on your empire's ethics and policies, though obviously pulling it off is more difficult than simply taking the planet and enslaving or exterminating the natives. You can go out of your way to improve a newly-conquered population's standards of living and give them a voice in your government, but between having been invaded and the culture shock of suddenly having an interstellar empire running their society, you're going to be dealing with unrest and lowered productivity for a long time. Plus other empires will feel somewhat threatened by your aggressive expansion, or object to you picking on a pre-spaceflight civilization.
  • The backstory to Sword of the Stars involve peaceful contact between Morrigi traders and primitive human civilizations some ten thousand years ago — they apparently also had similar encounters with the primitive tarka. Ok, fine, so they didn't do much trading above the 'exchange of shiny baubles' stage (Morrigi culture is partially based around seeking out new civilizations and exchanging shiny baubles with them; not so much handing all their hard-earned technological advances to the "children of the dust"). Still, they did give the species they visited the inspirations for dragons, for which more than one RPG developer should probably be grateful.
  • In Universe at War, the Novus robots serve as this, shining white robots and machines who stand against the more Hierarchy invasion force. Due to the influence of Mirabel, a Novus commander, they assist the human militaries (notably the US Army lead by General Moore) in pushing back the aliens and protecting civilians, despite their Founder's original misgivings about interfering with human life.
  • Subverted in XCOM 2, where the Ethereals' propaganda has done a good job of convincing most people that this is what's happened to Earth. The "chaos of the Old World" has been replaced with the peace and stability of the ADVENT Administration, advanced technology has turned ADVENT's city centers into shining, futuristic metropolises, and gene clinics have eradicated most diseases, all thanks to the benevolence of "the Elders." It's a lie, of course - ADVENT's cities are Gilded Cages full of security checkpoints and Half-Human Hybrid soldiers, pre-war cities have been left in ruins suffering a Zombie Apocalypse as a result of alien bio-weapons used during the invasion, unsanctioned human settlements are attacked and razed by ADVENT forces, and not everyone who goes into those gene clinics comes out of them. XCOM doesn't just have to defeat ADVENT on the battlefield, it has to reveal the truth about the alien regime, to encourage the rest of humanity to rise up against them.


    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation keeps track of the many potential futures of the human race they've explored via Time Travel, which basically all end with the destruction of humanity and are only distinguished by when and how it happens. One such future, dubbed Determinative Set XW, is a typical subversion of this trope. Alien or otherdimensional beings arrive on Earth and share their advances with humanity, leading hundreds of thousands of humans to volunteer to be joined in a gestalt consciousness. The resultant being is imprisoned, cut off from outside contact, and given bare-minimum rations while the rest of humanity is wiped out.
    • Another subversion occurs in the Alternate Universe accessed via SCP-093 (the "Red Sea Object") — some kind of Humanoid Abomination known only as "He" appeared from who-knows-where and granted humanity advanced technology and a miracle substance known as "His Tears". Said "Tears" had the unfortunate side-effect of turning people into faceless zombie-like monsters, who destroy humanity.
  • Played straight, in a bleakly humorous manner, in the Half-Life 2 series Civil Protection, where Mike points out that Earth was facing international conflict, overpopulation, a climate crisis and an energy shortage before the Combine showed up, and now those problems are all solved.
    Dave: I'll give you that - killing off five billion people did wonders for most of our social problems.
    Mike: It sure did! Now there are no more politics. You either do what the government says, or you die! And what do you know! Now all of our energy is renewable, there's plenty of food for everyone, and crime is at its lowest in recorded history! It's a total U-turn.
  • In this video from The Onion, Supreme Emperor and Dynastic Overlord Thuu'l of Xarclon 12 sent a giant ship to rescue Syrian Refugees. Despite having the appearance of Scary Dogmatic Aliens, his intentions seem to be genuinely compassionate.
    Thuu'l: "We in the far end of the Triangulum Galaxy do not understand why you let humans do this to other humans. You are sentient beings, correct?"
  • The aliens in Twitter Story Earth 5AR didn't come to destroy or enslave humanity. No, they came to adopt them as their babies.
  • Alien Abduction Role Play: According to Acktreal, this is what would happen to Earth if most of humanity says yes to joining their multi-species civilization. Humans would get access to advanced technology and the means to travel to other planets with Acktreal herself believing that being apart of a multi-species society would curb our worst impulses. However, this is only if said society comes to the conclusion that humanity is fully sapient by their standards, if not, than the best we could hope for would be the status as a protected species as we'd be treated more as pets but not allowed to be harmed, the alternative is livestock for the carnivorous species.
  • A writing prompt from Tumblr is that aliens invade, and impose a six-hour workday on all Earthlings. That's it. No shipping us off to spice mines, no eating us, no keeping us as pets, just "The work day is now six hours long."
  • Shadowstone Park features an alien race who evolved without a killer instinct and are able to synthesize all the nutrients they need to survive from tiny amounts of non-living matter. They travel the cosmos and gene-splice this ability into any other species they find, in the belief that they will eventually free the galaxy from violence, hunger and unecessary suffering by doing so.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama
    • Fry eats a rancid sandwich from a bus stop vending machine, and his body becomes infested with microscopic worms that actually do everything they can to fix up their new home, turning him super smart, super strong, and Nigh Invulnerable.
    • Also in the movie The Beast with a Billion Backs, the entire universe is invaded by Yivo, a rather benevolent alien being from another universe. Shkler body actually turns out to be a Heaven-like place.
    • Then there was The Professor's recollection of the last time aliens invaded, and all they did was force the smartest people on the planet to breed with each other. It might not have been benevolent to mankind as a whole, but judging by his reactions, it sure was a great time for some.
  • Half-averted, half-played straight, in most Transformers stories when humanity has widespread knowledge of the alien self-propelled Humongous Mecha among them, as well as many of the ones in which only a handful of Earth's people are aware.
    • Usually the Autobots are the benevolent kind, the Decepticons are the other kind.
    • Notably, although they're fighting a war on our doorstep, the Autobots show no desire to overthrow Earth's governments ("Freedom is the right of all sentient beings," after all). Even the Decepticons usually don't care much about conquering humanity per se, except perhaps as a means to help them loot the Earth more efficiently (to them, humans are scarcely more than animals, and we're in the way).
      • Not only do the Autobots not try to overthrow Earth's governments, they're often shown working with them. They also do their best to keep a low profile to avoid a public panic, and sometimes help out with our planet's own problems when they're not busy protecting us from the Decepticons. And the "protecting us from the Decepticons" thing is pretty significant in its own right.
      • The Rescue Bots don't have to deal with Decepticons, and instead masquerade as non-sentient Transforming Mecha to protect the people of the high-tech island of Griffin Rock from any threats that might crop up. The only one to object to this mission when Optimus Prime assigned it was Heatwave... Not because he didn't want to help, but because he wanted to do it more openly. He eventually gets his wish.
  • One episode of Mighty Max starts with reports of a swarm of beetles ruining a small village. Turns out they are actually tiny alien scouts, clearing the area for one of their diplomatic ships to land. Hey, the aliens left a note saying they would come back later (it's in a language no one alive can read, of course). The aliens want Earth's toxic and radioactive waste; it's apparently an extremely valuable commodity where they come from. Win-win for Earth, Max, and the aliens.
  • Not an invasion, but rather a crash landing: In Justice League Unlimited, we learn that in the distant past (c. 6600 BC) two Thanagarian law officers landed in what is today Egypt. Worshipped as gods (In spite of their wishes) they used their technology to make the harsh desert bloom with life and ruled over a vast and peaceful empire as benevolent leaders. They were expansionist, yes, but only to bring their peace and bounty to their neighbors, who were primarily ruled by unjust dictators (Teth-Adam even sends an offering of horses to thank the Thanagarians for liberating Kahndaq). Unfortunately, they only educated their people to the level of tool users, not tool makers, and when the Thanagarians themselves died, their peaceful utopia crumbled in a generation. Notable, in a way, for not having aliens build the pyramids or ruling Ancient Egypt; the dates make it clear that all this occurs before the building of the currently standing pyramids and temples, and before there was even a unified Egypt at all. The remnants of their constructions and history might have inspired the Pharaohs to adopt a similar style and culture, but Egypt itself was a completely human development that arose millennia later.

    Real Life 
  • Posadism, a radical offshoot of Trotskyist communism that emerged in Latin America, believed quite strongly in one of these. It took Marx's theory of communism as the end-stage of civilization and applied it to ufology, proclaiming that, if there were aliens out there who were advanced enough to be visiting Earth, it stood to reason that they would be either a fully-developed communist society or otherwise farther along that road than we were. Therefore, upon First Contact, humanity should welcome its space-faring proletarian brothers and sisters as they help liberate Earth from the tyranny of Capitalism and 'revisionist' Stalinism. Even the other communists, including Trotskyists, roundly mocked and denounced them for this idea.
  • The "civilizing mission" was a popular justification for colonialism in the 19th and early 20th centuries, proclaiming that the European powers were uplifting the people they conquered in Asia and Africa. This propaganda cartoon from 1899 depicts the UK as carrying the Zulus, the Indians, and the Chinese up a mountain to the light of civilization, and the US right behind it carrying the Native Americans and the Cubans. In practice, the results were often a lot less benevolent, the idea of the civilizing mission often used to cover for ruthless exploitation of the native population (nor of course did they ask if their "help" was wanted).